Cafcass dealing with “partially submitted” complaints of disability discrimination

The request was partially successful.

Dear Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service,

1. Can Cafcass customer services decide that an FCA : Did not treat a person unfairly or discriminate against their disability in relation to information shared as part of proceedings regarding a persons health and mental health when the person making the complaints has “not fully addressed the full extent of disability discrimination” to Cafcass i.e: due to disability the complainant has been too ill to submit full complaint but has only submitted part of their complaint?

2. Can Cafcass “conclude” a complaint of disability discrimination knowing they are awaiting the rest of the issues that the complainant considered to be discriminatory ? (Where the disabled person has been too ill to submit in in full but only submitted part)

3. How do Cafcass respond to requests for reasonable adjustments by disabled people using the complaints procedure:

a. Do they acknowledge whether they will in fact provide reasonable adjustments by informing the disabled person in writing ?

Or

b. Ignore the disabled persons request for reasonable adjustments ?

Yours faithfully,

Victoria Soeder

Governance, Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Soeder,

 

Thank you for your email.

 

Please accept this as formal acknowledgement of your Freedom of
Information request which was received by Cafcass on 01 December 2018.

 

Your reference number is CAF18-140.

 

We aim to respond to your promptly, and at the latest 20 working days from
receipt of your request. You will therefore receive a response on or
before 02 January 2019.

 

Kind regards,

 

Governance Team | Cafcass

* [1][CAFCASS request email] | ü [2]www.cafcass.gov.uk

[3]Cafcass_Logo_2014_email

 

 

 

 

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Governance, Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

3 Attachments

Dear Ms Soeder,

 

Thank you for your email. Please find attached our response to your
Freedom of Information request.

 

Kind regards,

 

Governance Team | Cafcass

* [1][CAFCASS request email] | ü [2]www.cafcass.gov.uk 

[3]Cafcass_Logo_2014_email

 

 

Please note Cafcass will be closing for Christmas from 5pm on 24^th
December 2018 and  will re-open at 9am on 2^nd January 2019.

 

[4]http://www.kidactivities.net/image.axd?p...

 

Cafcass email addresses have changed to end in @cafcass.gov.uk. Please
ensure you update your address book. For more information on this change
please see our  [5]website

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Samantha Kerr left an annotation ()

Victoria Soeder left an annotation (26 December 2018)
On 7/11/18 I requested reasonable adjustments under the 2010 Equality Act to Service Manager Andrea Walters : Leeds Cafcass A4 to enable me to facilitate my complaint of disability discrimination and professional misconduct: serious complaints.

I requested reasonable adjustments to address all issues in my complaint; only partially submitted due to disability barriers that I needed a face to face meetings with somebody of my choice present to assist me process information. I requested this in a neutral venue of my choice preferably a room in my MPs office. The service manager suggested meetings to deal with the complaint be held at my solicitors office which given the sheer volume of the complaint would have been unaffordable costing excessive amounts. I made it clear I was unable due to illness plus lack of personal assistance to submit or participate in the complaints procedure by telephone and likewise by email. I reiterated many times I was unable to communicate the complaint by email. I requested the reasonable adjustment of meetings re the complaint were recorded so I could fully understand and process the information with 15 minute breaks. I also requested I submit my complaint in manageable parts when able to do so in a step by step approach.

The manager agreed reasonable adjustments were right and proper however she did not, nor did anyone in the CST allow the reasonable adjustments. The manager said she would get back to me later that day. She did not.

Pauline Foggo stated: “you will need to tell this person (me) to tell you everything by email. We will NOT be making reasonable adjustments by meeting her face to face Hema. We only do that for persons without capacity to instruct a solicitor”.

Needless to say Pauline Foggo nor the CST nor anyone in the Cafcass entity had identified whether I did or did not have capacity to instruct a solicitor; which for the record I have not

In conclusion Cafcass are breaching the 2010 Equality Act. By not providing reasonable adjustments at the outset meant I was set up for the complaint to fail akin to asking someone in a wheelchair to get up and run.

Whilst ‘waiting’ for them to provide the requested reasonable adjustments and partially submit complaints in a step by step approach and updating them of further health barriers and asking them for information on quality assurance and due diligence.

Hema Johal : CST rang to rang from a mobile phone to introduce herself saying she was ringing because she wasn’t quite sure if I was withdrawing my complaint at this stage or if I wanted her to carry on investigating it ? I told her I’m absolutely not withdrawing my complaint at all ? She referred to earlier correspondence where she said I had “asked her for MORE TIME and she was aware I had further issues to raise so at that stage she wasn’t sure if I was withdrawing the complaint. She said she’d sent a letter. She said she would carry on investigating.

I reiterated disability, illness and needing time to be able to do it.she said OK.

I explained that part of the the complaint was about disability discrimination and I need to be able to submit it “when I am able to submit the rest of it” explaining that as a reasonable adjustment I couldn’t withdraw it but would submit it ‘part by part’ on days well enough to do so.

Hema Johal said that that was the “problem” Cafcass CST only have 15 days to complete a complaint so I pointed out that again as a reasonable adjustment to accommodate my disability she would have to accommodate it even if it meant changing their policy as a reasonable adjustment : “If your disabled their is a duty to change their procedures to remove barriers faced because of disability” but she could choose to reject it or honour reasonable adjustments and stated that I had ‘substantially more parts of a complaint to submit’. I explained why due to illness/disability I needed reasonable adjustments to do so.

She stated so you have more to submit okay.

She ended the call by saying she would get back to me in due course.

Again I was waiting for her to accept or reject my request for reasonable adjustments to proceed to investigate and obtain a “full” complaint and get back to me as she said in due course then to receive a shocking letter 3 days later “concluding my complaint” to my absolute shock and horror. They had only had a partial complaint yet concluded it.

The content of the letter is illegible, unreadable, in comprehensible by myself , nor can anyone who assists me read it. A qualified nurse threw her hands up in the air and simply could not make any sense of it only that certain comments “compound the very discrimination I was complaining about”.

Hema Johal after speaking to me on the phone and “ascertaining that there was “substantially more” to add to the complaint of disability discrimination and professional misconduct of the FCA Jodie Rees and her manager Andrea Walters wrote to Hilary Barret Assistant Director in A4/ A10/A11:

Hema Johal to Hilary Barrett: 28/11/18 @ 13.55

Good afternoon,

Please find attached draft complaint response for your consideration. It’s quite long but most of it is the complaint itself. I am quite keen to “get this completed as soon as possible as I am receiving quite a lot of emails from the SU in relation to her complaint.

There are no action points,

Hema Johal
Customer services manager
National business centre

Hema Johal did not inform her in this email she had been told by me hours earlier there was more to complain about.

Hilary Barrett responded the same day 28/11/18 @ 16.08

I approve this letter to go out.
Hilary

Cafcass have now closed my complaint and expect me to waste the public purse taking the complaint to the Ombudsman and my MP who is interestingly the shadow minister for early years.

Cafcass FCA, Manager CST have failed to meet their statutory obligations under the 2010 Equality Act: discriminating and compounding discrimination throughout the organisation.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Samantha Kerr left an annotation ()

Victoria Soeder left an annotation (26 December 2018)
I note : Hema Johal CST manager stated she was “unsure” if I’d withdrawn my complaint (her confusion not mine) on 19th November yet she waited in an unsure state for “9” days to introduce herself and seek clarification I was not withdrawing my complaint , in a complaints procedure she states has to be investigated in 15 days.

On the 9th day after a brief 8 minute 7 second phone call to introduce herself and seek clarification from me. Which she then ignored clarification of reasonable adjustments and proceeded to conclude her investigation the same day she introduced herself without obtaining full complaint and disregarding “all” requests for reasonable adjustments.

Subsequently I received the letter 3 says letter. Therefore this demonstrates that the Cafcass complaints procedure rushes to respond within 15 days to the detriment of disregarding their statutory obligations under of the 2010 Equality Act thus the complaints procedure is not accessible as it stands to disabled service users/ non accessible and discriminatory.

They then abdicate their responsibilities expecting disabled service users to find recourse through MP’s and the Parliamentary and Health service Ombudsman adding pressure to disadvantaged disabled service users and at the cost of the public purse simply because they do not undertake statutory obligations in their own complaints procedure because the CST based in Coventry do not provide reasonable adjustments by way of “face to face meetings” by travelling around the UK to provide a face to face meeting as a reasonable adjustment as is the case here.

Dear Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service's handling of my FOI request 'Cafcass dealing with “partially submitted” complaints of disability discrimination'.

I am dissatisfied because Cafcass have responded saying complainant will usually be informed that Cafcass will make reasonable adjustments either in writing or by telephone.

In reality as in my case Cafcass must have a policy that they have not provided in this request where the CST must in fact have a policy stating they do NOT provide the service user in writing Or by telephone and instead ignore the request : please provide this policy

Cafcass must hold a policy where Internal emails are sent between CST staff stating not to provide a service user with reasonable adjustments only communicating this internally but NOT communicating they will not be providing the disabled service user with their reasonable adjustments requests therefore :Please provide this policy.

In reality (in my personal experience)a service user of Cafcass Is ignored after requesting reasonable adjustments. They do not receive a response in writing or by telephone and only finds out that emails are sent internally stating not to provide reasonable adjustments which the service user only becomes aware of upon receipt of a subject access request therefore Cafcass must hold a policy that allows them to ignore the service users request for reasonable adjustments please provide me with that policy and also state The policy that allows them exemption from the 2010 equality act

.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully
Victoria Soeder

Governance, Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Soeder

 

Thank you for your email. Please find attached our response to your
request for an Internal Review of your Freedom of Information request.

 

Kind regards,

 

Governance Team | Cafcass

* [1][CAFCASS request email] | ü [2]www.cafcass.gov.uk

[3]Cafcass_Logo_2014_email

 

 

 

Cafcass email addresses have changed to end in @cafcass.gov.uk. Please
ensure you update your address book. For more information on this change
please see our  [4]website

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